Background: Orestes Brownson’s life was one of political, social, and religious searching. Although he had little formal education, Brownson was a powerful writer and an editor of tremendous influence in the nineteenth century.
Egalitarianism – (from the French word “egal”, meaning equal) A political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights. Generally it applies to being held equal under the law and society at large.
Proprietors – One who owns or manages a business or other such establishment.
Moiety – A half, portion, part, or share.
Oppression – The exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
Abolitionist – A person in support of doing away with any law or practice deemed harmful to society. Those who are against slavery or servitude.
Almshouse – A house endowed by private charity for the reception and support of the aged or sick poor.
What is a Seminar?
• A Paideia Seminar is a collaborative, intellectual dialogue about a text, facilitated with open-ended questions.
• The main purpose is to arrive at a fuller understanding of the ideas and values in the text and of the times, of ourselves, and of each other.
• The teacher is primarily responsible for asking questions, and takes notes on points brought up by students.
• As participants, I am asking you to think, listen, and speak candidly about your thoughts, reactions, and ideas. You can help each other do this by using each other’s names.
• You do not need to raise your hands in order to speak; rather, the discussion is collaborative in that you try and stay focused on the main speaker and wait your turn to talk.
• You should try to both agree and disagree in a courteous, thoughtful manner. For example, you might say, ‘I disagree with Joanna because…,’ focusing on the ideas involved, not the individuals.
• Now, let’s think about how we normally participate in a discussion as a group. Is there a goal that we can set for ourselves that will help the flow and meaning of the seminar? For this seminar, I would suggest:
To focus on the ideas embedded in the text.
• Please consider the list of personal participation goals that I have listed below:
o To speak at least three times.
o To refer to the text in detail.
o To keep an open mind.
o To speak out of uncertainty.
• Is there one that is a particular challenge for you personally? Will you choose one goal from the list and commit to achieving it during the discussion we are about to have?
Please write your personal goal below:
Seminar Values: Wealth, Power, Oppression, Inequality, Moral Conscience, Religion, Revolution.